In recent years, parents, educators and therapists alike have raised concerns over the popularity of prescribing long-acting stimulants to students diagnosed with ADHD. According to the Child Mind Institute, side effects from these medications include sleep problems, decreased appetite, delayed growth, headaches and stomachaches, tics, and irritability. Their effectiveness has been challenged, as well. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published a study last September analyzing what was more effective for treating children with ADHD: long-acting stimulants or behavioral interventions. The study examined 75 children 5-12 years old who had been diagnosed with ADHD. The students attended a summer school program with classes each weekday for eight weeks. Students were randomly assigned to receive medication or behavioral interventions that included daily report cards coaching…

SeekFreaks is a new online resource for clinicians covering topics related to school-based practice, and was started by Carlo Vialu, who formerly oversaw physical therapy services for the New York City Department of Education, and Dr. Laurie Ray, an Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.  In a recent interview with Jen Kenney, a CCC-SLP with PresenceLearning who has practiced online for the last five of her 17 years of experience, Carlo and Jen unpacked everything a fellow SLP might want to know about teletherapy (also known as telehealth and telepractice), as well as what districts might want to better understand about this mode of delivery.  Check out highlights of Jen’s interview in the infographic below, or click here for the full interview.  

This month, Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University professor of animal sciences, esteemed author and world-renowned autism spokesperson – and friend of PresenceLearning – was one of 10 women to be inducted into The National Women’s Hall of Fame! Past nominees include the likes of Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Oprah Winfrey. We couldn’t agree more with The Hall’s choice to induct Dr. Grandin! In addition to her 20+ years of work in animal sciences, it was Dr. Grandin’s experience of living with autism and her unique way of thinking that helped her become a visionary in the industry. To this day, her methods and designs for humane slaughter are used across…

Working from home as a school-based online SLP, OT, or mental health professional has many benefits as well as its own unique challenges. According to a recent survey of PresenceLearning clinicians, working from home and setting one’s own schedule were some of the top reasons for making a career shift to teletherapy. Once clinicians begin their online practice, reasons for liking teletherapy shift to being able to serve kids who might not otherwise have access to quality care, using the PresenceLearning online therapy platform, and the sense of community and support that comes from being part of the PresenceLearning network. In a recent post, CCC-SLP and Senior Clinical Consultant Karin H. Koukeyan presented tips for setting up an organized and distraction-free workspace in the home. Now we…

By Karin H. Koukeyan Working from home as a teletherapy provider provides a multitude of conveniences by allowing a flexible work schedule. However, there is an ongoing challenge faced by individuals who choose a work-from-home lifestyle. Balancing your professional life with your personal life continues to be an ongoing stressor for many. This obstacle can be easily overcome with a few simple organizational tips. By designating a dedicated workspace that is clutter-free, you can maximize your effectiveness as a teletherapist and make an even bigger impact in the lives of many students. Choose the ideal space. Of course, the best scenario would be to have a separate, dedicated room that is exclusively used as a home office. However, this option may not be realistic for the…

Changing gears from being a school-based SLP to starting a private practice can be a big change, especially when your new practice is online. PresenceLearning has a wide range of ways to support independent telepractitioners including an assigned onboarding specialist, technical support, mentoring, and professional development opportunities. However, moving to the online world does mean learning new technology and finding the most effective way to communicate with school staff, parents, and peers from hundreds of miles away. Janet Courtney, an SLP who has contracted with PresenceLearning as an SLP for five years, shares her insights on what it takes to be successful in telepractice and what she likes most about working online. Janet, it is great to have you in our network, and thank you for all…

The team at PresenceLearning will be in California, Mississippi, Indiana, Alaska, Oregon, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Phoenix, and Alabama in February. Stop by and say hello! Every Child Counts  February 1 – 3 Anaheim, CA Mississippi CEC State Conference February 1 – 3 Biloxi, MS ICASE Spring Conference February 2 – 3 Indianapolis, IN Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference February 4 – 7 Anchorage, AK New Special Education Directors/Coordinators Seminar Series February 8 Salem, OR ISHA Annual Conference February 9 – 11 Rosemont, IL IAASE Winter Conference February 16 – 17 Springfield, IL NASP Annual Convention February 21 – 24 San Antonio, TX IRSD Winter Institute  February 22 – 23 St. Augustine, FL CASE Winter Hybrid Conference  February 23 – 24 Clearwater Beach, FL or Virtual TSHA Annual Convention February 23 – 25 Austin, TX AZCEC/CASE Annual State Conference February 24 Phoenix, AZ ALA CASE February 26 – 28 Hoover, AL Would you like to schedule a private demo during one of these conferences? Email sales@presencelearning.com and let us know where you will be attending.

Assessments keep most school psychologists busy all year, causing periodic overload and backlog situations. Schools do their best to evaluate referred students without undue delay but often find themselves falling behind. Student needs go unaddressed, putting them at even greater risk of low achievement, and putting the school at risk for compliance. Serving students with special needs is an ongoing process of evaluating their needs, providing the necessary interventions, and then reevaluating the effectiveness of said interventions. If evaluations are delayed, the entire process gets thrown off. Staff vacancies due to family/medical leaves or retirements, the nationwide shortage of school psychologists, the growing volume of behavioral issues, seasonal spikes in student referrals for evaluation, and other complications all affect a school’s ability to evaluate students…

New research finds that bias based on race or ethnicity may play a bigger role in the classroom than previously thought. NYU’s Department of Teaching and Learning designed a study to examine how these biases affect the referral of students for gifted and special education programs. A more in-depth summary of the study can be read in this Chalkbeat article. For the study, 70 third- and fourth-grade teachers from “an unnamed large, northeastern city” were randomly assigned to read profiles of fictional male students who showed signs of academic challenges, behavioral/emotional deficits, or giftedness. However, the profiles featured the student’s names: “Jacob,” “Carlos,” or “Demetrius.” The results may be surprising to some. The teachers were more likely to see Jacob’s academic deficits as “medicalized problems…

Last fall, PresenceLearning presented at the National Alliance for Medicaid in Education (NAME) Conference in Bozeman, MT. In the session, titled “School Based Telehealth Services and Medicaid,” PresenceLearning’s Mark Mantel and Cameron Kilberg joined forces with Kevin Bauer, the Department Specialist at the Michigan Department of Community Health, and Mark Smith, the Agency Lead at Ohio Medicaid in Schools Program for the Ohio Department of Education, to talk about the role of telehealth and Medicaid reimbursement in schools. Bauer pointed out that districts that only hire on-site clinicians (SLPs, OTs, and mental health professionals) may be pigeonholing themselves. There’s a nationwide shortage of qualified clinicians, and some are reluctant to apply for vacancies at hard-to-reach rural districts or at urban districts perceived as unsafe. Districts that don’t have enough on-site clinicians to balance caseloads to recommended levels can struggle to evaluate and serve all their students with special needs. Because districts are relying on on-site clinicians, Bauer said they are not meeting IEP mandates 80% of the time, which creates compliance issues. Smith discussed the benefits districts, clinicians, and students can expect from implementing teletherapy services. Underserved districts now have a practical solution to meet urgent student needs. Districts are…

© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | PresenceLearning makes live, online special education related services available to K-12 students anytime, anywhere. As the leader in the delivery of clinical services via the web, PresenceLearning has provided over one million sessions of speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, assessments, and early childhood services.